As of June 2022, the percentage of women working in the core STEM workforce was only 26.9%; a figure that highlights the lack of women in STEM. The problem starts during the years before women enter the workforce. The number of women taking up scientific or engineering courses also needs addressing. According to UCAS, the percentage of women signing up for those courses was only 35%. This pales in comparison with professions such as marketing in which the gender split is even. These figures indicate that the gender gap in STEM is very wide and that women are struggling to find their place in this industry.
STEM is an abbreviation that stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths, it favours a multidisciplinary approach instead of a single-focus approach. However, in recent years, the term has also been used to describe professions and higher education courses in the fields of science and engineering. This means IT can be considered a STEM industry as can microbiology or fluid Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD).
1. Barriers in Education
The problem starts in early education, some teachers underestimate young girls’ mathematical and scientific skills which makes them less inclined to pursue a career in STEM.
4. Gender Pay Gap
The lack of women in the upper quartile roles is a significant contributor to the current 15%+ gender pay gap within STEM. A factor that further fuels gender inequality within the industry.
2. Lack of Female Role Models
The STEM industry is male-dominated which means there are fewer female mentors and role models for young women wanting to forge a career in STEM, pushing women away from careers in engineering or scientific fields.
3. Imposter Syndrome
The lack of women in STEM can lead to some suffering imposter syndrome and despite having the required qualifications and experience, some women do not put themselves forward for more senior roles.
The barriers for women in STEM are considerable but not insurmountable. From the salary gap to gaining more recognition from their peers, we provide courses that will help better integrate the female workforce into the STEM industries.
Our Award-Winning Career Development Programme for Women, EMPOWER helps women develop the skills and confidence to showcase what they have to offer their organisations, giving employers access to the widest possible talent pool.
Our Unconscious Bias and Inclusion Allies Workshops help any Engineering business acquire a deeper understanding of the stereotypes that are faced by underrepresented employees. It will also help your company develop a more open culture that will contribute to future success.
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